Kelly Clarkson has been a longtime fan of Reba McEntire, garnering both a friendship and familial relationship with the singer over the years. (Clarkson has been married to McEntire’s stepson Brandon Blackstock since 2013.) Because of their deep bond, it only made sense for Clarkson to be one of the few people to honor the country icon during the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday.
“Thank you so much, Reba for listening to me vent as an artist,” she said just before performing “Fancy” (quote via USA Today). “Thank you so much for comforting me on the phone through my tears like a friend and thank you for being a really rad grandma for my kids.” She continued, “If we’re all being honest, sometimes when we meet our heroes it doesn’t always pan out how you hope, but meeting Reba, being friends with her and eventually becoming family has been one of the highlights of my life — truly.”
Clarkson was joined by Brooks & Dunn, Lady Antebellum and Kristin Chenoweth, who each performed a McEntire hit. Bobby Bones was also on hand to honor the redheaded icon.
“The Kennedy Center Honors is a huge thrill for me. I have been a part of that show for helping four honorees getting honored, Dolly [Parton], Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett and Loretta Lynn. So to get to be a part of that behind the scenes all that many times was a lot of fun for me, and now to be honored, it is the icing on the cake,” Reba told Sounds Like Nashville and other local media at a press conference backstage at the CMA Country Christmas taping.
Little Big Town also took part in the festivities, but were on hand to perform for Kennedy Center honoree Cher. Other honorees in 2018 include pianist Philip Glass, jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, co-creators of Hamilton—writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire.
Though our kids are now teenagers , they haven’t lost the magic of Christmas morning. My wife and I love it. When they come down the stairs, their eyes still bug out at the massive pile of gifts they see. We make that pile as big as we can. We shove the coffee table beside the tree and stack gifts on it just to add height. We spread gifts our across the floor beneath the tree, around the recliner. The pile is enormous, and we’re not commercializing Christmas!
The vast majority of those gifts are basic needs socks, toothbrushes, notebooks , shows. We stock up all year on whatever;the kids need. wrap it up, and add it to the pile. We use extra large boxes for the smaller gifts, just to make the pile bigger. We still read Luke’s Christmas story to recall the Savior’s birth. We still snuggle with hot chocolate and classic Christmas movies. Our teenagers still embrace out traditions.
But best of all remains that wide-eyes on Christmas morning when the kids see their gifts, because their sense of wonder helps me remember God’s extravagant grace.
Father, You delight in giving and this season is proof. Open my eyes to the wonder of Your grace. Bill